The terms of two members of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission have expired.
The six-year terms of Chairwoman Mary Lu Jordan and Commissioner Michael Young ended Aug. 31. According to a notice on the Commission’s website, Jordan and Young will serve the quasi-judicial body as counsels to the three remaining members and will work on special projects.
A coal outburst that claimed two miners’ lives at a West Virginia mine happened three days after another outburst which the mine did not report to state authorities, according to investigators from the Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training (OMHST).
Congress intended money under the Brookwood-Sago grants program to have a broad reach, but MSHA’s focus with the funding has primarily been on emergency response in underground coal mines.
A miner was killed Friday morning at United Salt Corp.’s Hockley Mine, an underground salt mine in Texas.
The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences identified the victim as Mark Benoit, 55, of Waller. According to MSHA, he was killed about 7:10 a.m. while performing maintenance on a forklift aboveground. The machine shifted and pinned him against a wall. Benoit, who had been employed at the mine since 2012, was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death was blunt chest trauma.
The big winner over the years of funding under the MSHA-administered Brookwood Sago grants program has been the United Mine Workers of America Career Centers, Inc. (UMWACC).
A new MSHA policy for handling underground coal operator challenges to agency-issued safeguard notices brings MSHA’s procedures in line with those the agency employs to handle challenges to its roof control, ventilation and emergency response plans.
MSHA has awarded $1 million in Brookwood-Sago grants to seven organizations for various mine emergency prevention, preparedness, response and rescue activities.
Failure to provide protective devices on a conveyor belt to prevent the operator from falling onto the moving belt led to the death of a 20-year-old Texas miner, according to MSHA.
Miguel Nino was killed May 9 at Mississippi Sand, LLC’s Seagraves sand and gravel mine in Gaines County. MSHA said he fell into a moving conveyor being used to transfer frac sand from a rail car into a truck. Nino died at a local hospital about 90 minutes after the accident of traumatic asphyxia. He had nine weeks of mining experience.
MSHA has charged a South Carolina aggregate operator and its contractor with aggravated negligent conduct following an explosion which killed a production supervisor, who had ignored the manufacturer’s warnings against applying heat to an impeller hub.
MSHA has accused the operator of a Nevada surface gypsum mine of high negligence in the death of the mine’s co-owner/president in an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) rollover accident last May.
William M. Hill, 57, was killed at Silver State Minerals, LLC’s newly opened Gypsum Mountain Mine in Pershing County when the ATV he was operating rolled over on steep terrain. Hill was pinned beneath the left front fender and wheel and died of blunt neck trauma and compressive asphyxiation. He was not wearing a helmet or other protective gear at the time of the accident.
The severest form of black lung disease has been on a sharply upward trajectory for the past 15 years and has now reached a prevalence rate of 3.23% as a five-year moving average among miners in central Appalachia.
Two mining industry attorneys essentially contend that MSHA’s proposed civil penalty rule is a wolf in sheep’s clothing in that the regulation will bring about results opposite those the agency says it wants to accomplish and will make life tougher for mine operators.
“There will be a significant increase in penalties,” predicted Mark Savit, who along with Henry Chajet presented their analysis of the proposal in a webinar Tuesday. This represents a sharp disagreement with MSHA, which stated in its proposal that total penalties would remain about the same.
MSHA’s stakeholder meetings with coal operators on its respirable coal dust rule reportedly are neither collaborative nor all-inclusive. They also do not include the trade press.
A judge has upheld three $52,500 fines against a Kentucky surface coal operator after a vehicular accident that left the driver dead.
Rhett Mosley, 32, was operating a 1988 tandem lube truck that when out of control on a steep downhill grade at Rex Coal Co., Inc.’s Rex Strip #1 in Harlan County in November 2010. Mosley was thrown from the vehicle or jumped and was found pinned beneath the service bed area of the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Current Regulatory Agenda
Proposed (P) Final (F)
(DFR) Direct Final Rule
(F) Prox Detect Devices: CMMs Jun '14
(P) Fees for Product Testing Aug. '14
(P) Civil Penalties Issued Aug '14
(P) Prox Detect Devices UG Sep. '14
(F) Update NAICS Issued Sep '14
(F) Confined Space Construction Aug '14
(F) Slips, Trips, Falls Oct '14
(F) Improve Injury Tracking Mar '15
(P) Employers' Rptg. Obligation Aug '14
(P) Beryllium Jul '14
(P, DFR) Eye, Face Protection Sep. '14
- Coal 13
- Aggregates 9
- Other M/NM 11
- Coal 20
- Aggregates 12
- Other M/NM 9
- Coal 20
- Aggregates 10
- Other M/NM 6
- Coal 21
- Aggregates 8
- Other M/NM 8